of total events as virtual offerings
As one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Boehringer Ingelheim has made a name for itself developing innovative treatments that improve human and animal health. With more than 50,000 global employees, harmonization across its 88 regional offices is key to the commercial team’s operational efficiency and success. From an events management perspective, this has meant implementing global standards and platforms designed to improve collaboration and analysis, while maintaining a sense of autonomy within local teams.
To gain a deeper, more holistic view of its global events strategy, Boehringer Ingelheim implemented Veeva CRM Events Management, helping streamline operations, improve visibility into customer preferences, and optimize the user experience for both attendees and event organizers.
The need for a single view across events
A core pillar of Boehringer Ingelheim’s commercial strategy is to streamline its global operations by integrating activities across different regions. Without a global integrated event solution in place, however, regional teams were using their own separate solutions, resulting in a fragmented landscape, no standard planning process, and a lack of consistent reporting.
“If everybody’s working in different solutions, data is not comparable,” says Beate Hansmann, global process, data, and platform owner for events and congresses at Boehringer Ingelheim. “We wanted to get everyone on the same platform so that we could collect the same data points for every customer and generate far better insights about the customer journey.”
Developing a global blueprint for event planning
Boehringer Ingelheim already had a long-standing relationship with Veeva, so when the team was considering which solution to use, it chose Events Management in order to leverage all the integrated solutions that Veeva provides. Since then, Hansmann and her team have rolled out the platform to 77 countries over the course of just three years, with an eventual goal to deploy in a total of 88 markets.
Moving the entire company onto a new system was as much of a change management challenge as it was a technical one. Hansmann and her team needed to clearly communicate the benefits the teams would gain. “One aspect was the integration with other systems to make the end-to-end process more efficient and streamlined,” explains Aubry Sevrin, IT Lead Business Consultant. Offering a secure, compliant solution also helped end users feel more confident their data was safe, “especially for those processes where we could have breaches,” he says.
The individual event organizers saw other benefits from using a single interface for all customer-facing functions: they now had one place to record all interactions and manage review and approvals. In addition, regional teams were pleased the new global platform and processes were flexible enough to accommodate and maintain country-specific regulatory requirements.
“We want to understand our customers better so that we can adapt our offerings to them. And that’s exactly what Events Management offers: the ability to generate insights so we can better manage and support our customers.” —Beate Hansmann, Global Capability Owner, Meetings and Events, Boehringer Ingelheim
New insights into the customer journey
With a new global process supported by Events Management, Boehringer Ingelheim has been able to streamline event planning across the company. Instead of constant back and forth over email to propose events and share bits of information slowly over time, event organizers can now use Events Management to reserve dates, manage invite lists, plan budgets, get approvals and more while meeting regional regulatory requirements.
With deeper insight into what kinds of events customers are interested in, Boehringer Ingelheim can also ensure it is offering the right mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. While face-to-face meetings previously dominated event schedules, Hansmann notes that the company currently offers about 70-80% of its total events as virtual offerings, which Veeva CRM Engage for Events Management helps make seamless by allowing teams to plan and execute field-led and collaborative virtual as well as hybrid events, all within Veeva CRM.
As customer interest in face-to-face seems to be growing again, Hansmann predicts the number of hybrid events the company offers will increase in order to reach as many customers as possible. “I do think a lot of customers will prefer hybrid events in the future,” she says.
Now that Boehringer Ingelheim finally has a single, unified view of its global events program, it can adjust its events strategy over time with a constant stream of data on evolving customer preferences. “In the end, it’s all about the customer journey,” says Hansmann. “We want to understand our customers better so that we can adapt our offerings to them. And that’s exactly what Events Management offers: the ability to generate insights so we can better manage and support our customers.”
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